GBP/USD Trades Sideways on Weak UK Macro Releases

The GBP/USD currency pair today traded in a tight range following the release of several UK macro reports, most of which did not meet expectations. The currency pair lacked enough momentum to rally higher following yesterday’s massive decline occasioned by higher demand for the US dollar.

The GBP/USD currency pair traded in a tight range marked by a high of 1.3831 and a low of 1.3787 at the time of writing.

The release of the UK January trade balance report by the Office for National Statistics was one of the main drivers behind the pair’s subdued performance. The UK’s visible trade deficit widened to £12.32 billion, which was higher than the expected £12 billion deficit. However, the total UK trade deficit widened by £3.4 billion to £8.7 billion in the three months to January 2018. The country also recorded a 0.1% increase in its manufacturing production in January, which translates into 2.7% on an annualized basis, and was much lower than expected. The UK’s industrial production data for January was also below expectations, as was the country’s construction output data.

The release of the NIESR UK GDP estimate for March, which came in at 0.3%, much lower than the expected 0.4% print also contributed to the pair’s lack of upward momentum. The currency pair’s performance was further boosted by the lack of any negative Brexit headlines.

The currency pair’s short-term performance is likely to be influenced by the release of the US non-farm payrolls scheduled for later today.

The GBP/USD currency pair was trading at 1.3824 as at 13:16 GMT having rallied from a low of 1.3787. The GBP/JPY currency pair was trading at 147.72 having risen from a low of 146.77.

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